In The Crucible, John Proctor is the play’s tragic hero.
John Proctor was a very tall and large man with a lot of force and energy. Though honest and outspoken, he had one major secret. He had had an affair with Abigail Williams.
Abigail, who was working for Elizabeth, John’s wife, at the time, was fired because of Elizabeth’s suspicions about their affair. Abigail, who was the jealous type, felt the need for revenge.
Being the leader that she was, she got most of the girls in the town involved. She forced them to pretend to see spirits, and did everything she could to make sure Elizabeth would end up dead. Because of her jealousy she caused the entire witchcraft hysteria to get out of control.
Of course, Elizabeth was one of the first people Abigail accused of witchcraft. Abigail wanted to have John Proctor to herself and to get revenge on Elizabeth. She also pretended people were doing witchcraft because she wanted attention.
John wanted to save his wife’s life and to stop all the madness.
John was a good man and even though his reputation meant a lot to him, he decided to confess his adultery to prove that Abigail was a liar.
John was very rash in speech, judgement, and action. Because of that, he ended up getting arrested. The only way to safe his life would be to make a false confession. So now he had to make a big decision: Life or Death.
When Abigail found out that John was going to get hanged, she didn’t want to have to witness it, so she stole thirty pounds from her uncle and ran away. She felt bad that everything went so terribly wrong. She was upset because she didn’t want John to die. It was because of her selfishness, that everything got out of control.
John wanted to live to be with his wife and family. He decided to make a false confession, but as soon as he found out that he had to sign a paper telling the town about his false confession, he had second thoughts.
John hated hypocrites, but that is what he would be if he made a false confession. He was the one who, throughout the whole witch trials was trying to convince people to tell the truth. He knew that when people saw the paper on the church door, people would think he was a bad person and a liar.
Would it even be worth living if he had to go through life knowing that he did the wrong thing? He would have to live with the shame for the rest of his life, and he didn’t want to have to do that.
Either his name would be ruined because people would think he had been doing witchcraft, or his name would be ruined because people would know he chose to confess instead of sticking to what he believed in. He didn’t have much of a choice.
He chooses death over life. Elizabeth’s life was already saved because she was pregnant, and until she had the baby she could not be hanged. He was not a selfless person and thought about his wife’s life first. He stuck with what he knew was right, yet he died because of the foolishness of others.
John was a person that many people will look up to in the years to come. He was very strong and an independent person. He stuck to what he believed in, and that made him a great person.
He didn’t deserve to die. He got dragged into the whole witchcraft hysteria, only because he wanted to stop it. Yet, he dies in a very tragic way. That is what makes him the tragic hero of The Crucible.
In the end, John still had his goodness. He figured confessing wasn’t worth it. He died as a good man, and that’s all that mattered to him.
As far as Abigail, she got what she deserved because she lost the love of her life, and had to live with the guilt that she caused John Proctor’s death.